Sometimes it does not hurt that families stop to rethink our relationship with nature. It is an opportunity to give more visibility and show our sons and daughters the importance, richness and variety of species of plants, animals, microorganisms and ecosystems present. In addition, we can take advantage of encourage children to get involved in protecting biodiversity of our planet. There is no better way to do it than through play.
The loss of species diversity threatens many aspects, including our own health. Therefore, promote in our society (and therefore our children) biodiversity awareness It is fundamental and synonymous with caring for the planet and caring for ourselves as a species. Like every year, May 22 is the International Day for Biological Diversity.
According to data from the European Commission, 8 out of 10 Europeans believe that the effects of biodiversity loss on our planet they are important and therefore we must act to stop them. However, the truth is that due to urban expansion, intensive agriculture, pollution, invasive species and climate change continue to put pressure on our natural ecosystems.
From the educational perspective of raise awareness and provide solutions It is from where I propose a series of activities for boys and girls that bring the knowledge and conservation of biodiversity closer together. As the architect Richard Rogers said, the only way, if we are going to improve the quality of the environment, is to involve everyone.
For this it is essential know, respect and protect. It is necessary to get closer to nature and its species. Because only then will our boys and girls take care of this wonderful planet where we live.
One of the biggest recommendations I can make for promote knowledge and respect for biodiversity with boys and girls it is precisely visiting natural spaces. Being in wild natural environments already offers us a unique opportunity to observe and perceive diversity, in addition to the many well-known beneficial effects on our health.
So do not hesitate and, if you can, go to large green spaces; to forests and natural environments with little traffic and rich in species of flora and fauna.
1. Become a fingerprint and trail detective
As a good nature detective, before going on the road, prepare the detective kit. Magnifying glass, track and trace guide, and even a camera and a small field notebook can go a long way. One of the things that brings us closer to the knowledge of our ecosystems and their inhabitants are the footprints and traces that we can find and identify.
Gnawed nuts, droppings, removed soil, tufts of hair ... There are many traces that can help us to identify which species live in that habitat and will be an invitation to learn and study more in depth about the importance of each of them in the ecosystem and how we can help its conservation.
2. Guardians of nature
Has it ever happened to you that while you were walking you saw a small seemingly empty nest in a tree? Did you ever hesitate and think about taking it with you for observation? Every good naturalist knows that the best nests are where they were built, that is, in the tree. If you find a nest and you think it may be empty, leave it in place. Perhaps it is under construction, or your guests have gone out for food and we will be helping to conserve the species. You will be able to visit it again as much as you wish and perhaps, with some luck and stealth, you will be able to see its guests!
In addition, as a good guardian of nature, you well know that for the maintenance of species it is essential to keep our natural spaces clean. So I encourage you to take some gloves, a garbage bag and some long tongs with you when you visit the field next time. These will help us to collect the rubbish and it will be a fun activity to fish the garbage.
3. My ecological footprint
An activity that involves some reflection on our actions and their impact on the planet and that of course will bring us closer to analysis and problem solving. We are going to create a mural with two different sides. One that will have our footprint in green and where we will write down those actions that we can take to care for and protect the planet and biodiversity. The other will have our footprint in red. On that side of the mural, we will point out those actions that negatively increase our impact on nature.
What solutions can we think of to these environmental problems? How can we contribute every day to maintain biodiversity and care for species?
4. My 'singular species' badge
There are dozens of species in danger of extinction around the world, thousands. What if you became a singular species? To do this, you will first need to investigate the exotic, endangered or unique species that inhabit our planet. Once you have that list, choose the one with which you identify and create together with the children a badge with recycled material, such as a piece of cardboard, or some element of nature that allows it, such as a small slice of wood , rest of a pruning.
You can create your own badge, a key ring or whatever distinctive symbol you want to wear. Research as a family as much as you can about this species, its function, its relationship with the rest of the species, its uniqueness. And think, if you had to convince the rest of humanity of its importance, what would you say to us?
Maybe you are a black vulture, an imperial eagle, a Canary Island dragon tree or a four-leaf clover. You may choose a brown bear, a beautiful, bushy fern, or a peculiar grouse. Welcome all children and parents to the world of biodiversity. Welcome to nature conservation. Bringing childhood closer to nature is the first step to loving it.
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